The 15th annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta will take place in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza this weekend and, while events like the annual chihuahua races (11:30 a.m.) and El Grito contest (9 p.m.) will certainly provide lots of fun for Fiesta-goers, Shreveport-Bossier area foodies adore this festival for one reason above all: food. A wide array of vendors selling authentic Mexican and Spanish cuisine will be on-hand.
New to the Fiesta this year, Sabores is an uncompromisingly authentic Dominican restaurant located just off of South Lakeshore Drive on the banks of Cross Lake. At this weekend’s event, they’ll be vending items like fried plantains, fried chicken, and rice with pigeon peas. The star of the show at their booth, however, is the pastelito (see the photo above). This palm-sized pocket of homemade, fried pastry dough is usually packed with savory shredded chicken or spicy ground beef and served with a cool, cilantro-powered dipping sauce. These little things are so delicious, they’ll make you want to release an El Grito-style scream of joy. At $2 each (the price they charge at the restaurant, please note that it may be different at the festival), they are a ridiculous value.
I asked the fantastic people at Sabores about their pastelitos during a recent trip to the restaurant. Specifically, I asked if they often heard comparisons to a certain meat-stuffed pastry associated with a certain Louisiana city.
The server smiled and said “Maybe you haven’t read the Wikipedia page for Natchitoches meat pies.”
Check out that Wikipedia page if you’re interested in learning how Spanish colonials brought meat pies to Natchitoches circa 1721. If you’d rather taste this history lesson than read it, just stop by the Sabores booth at Cinco de Mayo Fiesta this Saturday.
The 15th annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, presented by LULAC, will be held, 10 a.m.-12 Midnight, Saturday, May 5 in downtown Shreveport’s Festival Plaza. View a full schedule of events.